Updated: Apr 8, 2019
The Catawba County Democratic Party held it's annual County Convention Saturday, March 30th, where new CCDP officers were named.
Ric Vandett was voted in this morning as the new CCDP Chairman. Ric is a retired educator of 48 years with a BS in English and MA in Public School Administration from Appalachian State and Doctorate in Educational Administration from Columbia University. Ric served in many roles during his career including Superintendent of Hickory Public Schools. Ric is very active in the community. He has served in a number of leadership roles in his church, St. Luke’s UMC, and in organizations such as Exodus Homes, Rotary and Veterans Helping Veterans. He was our Democratic candidate for NC Senate District 42 this past November. Ric wants to broaden our party base by being aggressive and proactive in defining ourselves, speaking out on issues, reaching out through social media especially to young people, knocking on doors to meet voters and to explain Democratic values and positions on issues, raising our community profile and winning elections. Ric and his wife Angela have four sons and eleven grandchildren.
For our new 1st Vice Chair, Shamoyi McIver was voted in. She's Student Ambassador in the Office of Cultural Affairs at CVCC. She recruits, welcomes and helps students as well as speaks to community groups and businesses about CVCC students, curriculum and offerings. Shamoyi will finish her degree in Human Resources online from Gardner-Webb this May. She also works part-time at Walgreens in Conover as she pays her way through college. Shamoyi graduated from Challenger HS locally. She comes from a family of Democrats and recently worked in the campaign for House Rep. Chaz Beasley. With her outstanding speaking skills and outgoing personality she is especially interested in recruiting young people into the Party and in advocating for educational issues.
Our new CCDP Secretary is Sarah Sakatos. She was Campaign Manager for Michelle Morgan for County Commissioner this past November and is currently organizing the Startown Precinct. She grew up in Startown and graduated from Fred T. Foard HS in 2008 and later from UNC-C with a degree in Communications. Sarah is an excellent communicator who enjoys social media and using her computer skills. Sarah has an infectious enthusiasm and exudes confidence that she can learn to do about anything. Sarah is interested in building our membership especially among minorities and young people.
These new officers of the CCDP replace departing members, Marcus Williams, Delene Huggins and Carole Hovland, respectively.
Welcome on board, Toni Abernathy, who was named as Assistant to Chairman Vandett. Since September 2018 Toni Abernathy has been a full time Educator for the Catawba Science Center in Hickory. Also, she works part-time as a sales associate for Habitat for Humanity Restore. At the Science Center she educates the public on science-related subjects by teaching classes and providing outreach for school children in Hickory and surrounding counties. While in HS Toni was a student teacher's assistant at Jenkins Elementary, Chairman of the Hickory Youth Council and received the City of Hickory's Human Relations Award. After graduating from Hickory HS in 2014, Toni accepted a full scholarship from East Carolina University where she was a Dean's List student and the recipient of numerous awards as well as being president of her residence hall. While at ECU she was an Education Intern at a bird park for a year. Besides having an educator role with the public, she also had administrative duties such as managing grants. Toni is an outstanding young lady who is very interested in educational and environmental issues. Her skills as an effective communicator and ability to easily meet people will serve CCDP and her well as she assists Chairman Vandett in a variety of ways.